A 40-year-old Raceland man who has had several recent run-ins with local law enforcement was arrested Wednesday by federal agents, authorities said.
Samuel Luck was taken into custody at his home on La. 1 by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Lafourche Sheriff’s Office said. He is charged with an illegal firearm possession.
Over the past 18 months, Luck has had multiple contentious encounters with the Sheriff’s Office and Thibodaux Police Department, authorities said. When interacting with deputies, Luck exhibited “erratic behavior, used racial slurs toward officers and spit on them,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Luck also was seen carrying a firearm during several encounters and made statements “indicative of a desire to resist arrest if ever confronted,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
He is also a defendant in a lawsuit regarding an unpaid debt to a Cut Off-based loan company, court records show. Deputies served Luck in February with a notice of a wage garnishment in connection to the lawsuit, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Raceland man created a stir on a Houma-based Facebook page called “Da Buzz” Tuesday when a video was posted of him displaying a sign outside his home that read “LPSO = cowards.” Another video was posted to the site Wednesday showing federal agents surrounding his home.
Although Luck broke no state criminal laws, the Sheriff’s Office had a growing concern for officer and public safety due to the Raceland man’s erratic behavior, Lt. Brennan Matherne said Wednesday.
“This is not something that happened over the last few days,” Matherne said. “This has been growing over the span of several months.”
An investigation into Luck’s criminal history turned up a record of violent offenses in Kentucky including a 2002 indictment for two counts of attempted murder and a 2004 domestic violence conviction, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Luck was involved in a shooting in 2002 that left two women injured, the Sheriff’s Office said. After spending 265 days in jail, Luck pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and received a one-year suspended sentence with credit for time served.
Luck’s rap sheet also includes resisting arrest, perjury, hindering prosecution, harassment and theft, authorities said. He was charged in Terrebonne Parish in 2011 on a charge of cultivation of marijuana and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.
According to federal law, people convicted of domestic violence charges are prohibited from owning firearms, Matherne said. After making this discovery, the Sheriff’s Office notified federal authorities about Luck’s firearm possession.
“We don’t enforce federal law,” Matherne said. “There was nothing we could have charged him with in reference to the firearm. That’s why we had to inform the ATF.”
The timing of Luck’s arrest was coincidental and was in no way retaliation for the sign, Matherne said.
“We understand how this might look to some people, but the facts are we had been dealing with Mr. Luck for over a year now,” Matherne said. “We didn’t just start looking over his criminal history when he posted the sign. We were looking into his criminal history well before that. The wheels of all this were already in motion.”
Matherne also dismissed social media rumors that Luck is a former employee of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“There was some confusion because we did have a past employee in the last 10 years with a similar name, but it wasn’t him,” Matherne said.
Sheriff Craig Webre said the operation was a part of the Sheriff’s Office’s effort to work with federal authorities to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited possessors.
“While the laws we helped create at the state level do not apply in this case due to his domestic violence conviction being in Kentucky, the federal possession prohibition does apply,” the sheriff said. “Considering the growing concern for public and officer safety, we appreciate the response by the ATF who have been our long-standing partners in this effort.”
--Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-2202 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.